A number of states, including Minnesota, give their residents coverage which supplements the benefits provided in the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). Although the federal and state laws generally focus on the same issues, they do not necessarily function as a unit. For example, a term (such as “serious health condition”) used in both the FMLA and a state rule may have different meanings. If you have any questions regarding terminology, a lawyer should be able to clarify your concerns.

Is My Employer Covered By These Laws?

Minnesota has broadened the scope of employers covered by family and medical leave laws. Your employer is covered if it falls within the FMLA’s employer guidelines or if it either:

  • Employs 21 or more employees located at one or more worksite(s) and includes a corporation, partnership, association, nonprofit organization, group of persons, state, county, town, city, school district, or other governmental subdivision; or
  • Functions as an entity with one or more employees, for limited parental purposes (such as leave for school conferences and activities).

What Type of Leave Am I Allowed Under Minnesota’s Laws?

You may receive unpaid leave to take care of matters related to a birth, adoption; or sick child. Minnesota’s provision regarding employees¿ amount of leave time is similar to the federal law. Minnesota laws regulating leave time include the following information:

  • There is no requirement that spouses share leave;
  • Personal sick leave may be used to attend to your child for a reasonable period of time; and
  • Up to six weeks of time can be taken for a birth or an adoption, unless you and your employer agree to a longer period.

How Should I Request My Leave?

Under Minnesota law, your employer may adopt reasonable policies governing the timing of requests for unpaid birth or adoption leave. Other state rules relating to leave requests are comparable to the standards set in the FMLA.

What Happens When I Return?

If you have taken birth or adoption leave, you are entitled to return to your former position or to a position of comparable duties, hours, and pay. Furthermore, regardless of the type of leave you have taken, if you are returning to work after taking leave for longer than one month, you are required to notify your employer at least two weeks in advance.

Do I Need An Minnesota Employment Lawyer?

A labor and Minnesota employment lawyer can discuss with you the differences between federal and Minnesota laws pertaining to family and medical leave. If you feel that you have been mistreated by your employer, an attorney can also help you determine possible courses of action.